Few who know me would describe me as shy and retiring. I maintain that I am an introvert, for real y’all, but recently learned that does not mean “has a fear of vocalizing one’s wants and needs.” Check and check.
So, there are several pivotal points in my life where a lack of stage fright has paid off:
My Concord Tribune cover shot where I reminded Santa that there were only 18 days until Christmas. I was watching when the photographer approached a fellow kindergartener in the lunch room….said kindergartener cowered in his chair, refusing to grasp his moment of glory.
I turned around, feigning ignorance and nonchalance when the photographer approached my table, magnetized by my telegenic bowl cut and signature saucer face and glasses. Bingo…. “why yes sir, I will agree to be photographed” ha! I made this happen Mr. Small-Town newspaper photographer, don’t think YOU chose ME!
Cover portrait immortalized in bottlecaps….it was a significant moment, OK?
Cut to eighth grade and my chance at stage stardom…we’re doing a Woody Allen play featuring an old Jewish mother from New York. Clearly, that’s the role I’m most suited for, right?….what must I do to convince the director that I am her living, breathing incarnation?
Watch episode after episode of Laverne and Shirley to memorize Penny Marshall’s spot-on New York accent (IknowIknow, Laverne was in Milwaukee… schlemiel schlimazel, it was all the same to me) then, corner director between classes to show off my chameleon-like vocal stylings. Boom….I am Marion Hollander!
Here, perhaps, a more appropriately casted Marion…there’s a little resemblance, don’t you think?
Cut, again, to the past few years where various blind and internet dating scenarios that, although ultimately fruitless, still provide hours of entertaining sociological insights for myself and close friends.
How many of you have discussed expressing a dog’s anal glands on a first and last date (really, I went there with a veterinarian because I pretty much wanted to kill any thoughts of a mutual future….thanks again Nicole).
What does any of this have to do with 119 Houston St.?
My latest victory might not seem as exciting as a totally bizarre casting choice, newspaper cover shot, or bad date fodder, but to someone redoing a house with their eyes on their budget, it’s every bit as significant and it involves running off at the mouth to the friendly tile guys.
I have found that, in business, and I realize this is pretty obvious, it helps to cultivate relationships with people because you NEVER know what’s going to come from it. Now, making friends with folks is worth something in and of itself, but let’s face it, you’re not usually thinking about bonding with folks when you run in to pick up a tile order.
But at least three times now, taking a few minutes to chitchat has set me up for some pretty snazzy tile at ridiculously low prices when these guys let me know about overstocks or canceled orders they are just looking to clear out.
Their surplus is now my shower tile, kitchen floor tile and fabulous, unique and shiny glass mosaic backsplash tile. POW!!!!! (that’s me blowing on my imaginary guns that are actually my hands).
Super snazzy kitchen backsplash….my photo does it no justice - you’ll just have to stay tuned!
Coincidentally, or serendipitously, this tile goes like magic with my discount floor tile.
So, the moral to this story is to have an appropriately big mouth…know when to read the facial expressions or body signals that indicate the fine line between pleasant chatter and mind numbing verbal diarrhea….it’s a subtle line, but one worth not crossing if you want to make bank. Because while I agree that well-behaved women might not make history, I would add that quiet wallflowers don’t get the discounts and right now I’m more concerned with discounts than turning into an encyclopedia entry…I’m just shallow that way.